Wrexham childrens home boss jailed for LIFE
A man who ran children’s homes in Wrexham has been jailed for life for sexually assaulting youngsters in a campaign of abuse spanning decades.
John Ernest Allen, 73, had denied 40 counts of sex abuse against 19 boys and one girl aged between seven and 15 in the late 1960s up to the early 1990s.
He was sentenced at Mold Crown Court on Monday after being convicted of 33 charges last week.
The judge ordered Allen must serve a minimum of 11 years in jail before he can be considered for release.
Before a packed public gallery Mr Justice Openshaw said that he had carefully read 19 victim impact statements which had been given in relation to the case.
He told Allen he had caused “anguish” to his victims and that he had believed himself to be “untouchable” as he carried out his offending.
Allen, of Needham Market, Suffolk, was cleared of two charges last week. The jury was discharged on Thursday after failing to reach verdicts on four charges.
One alternative charge was dropped.
The former hotelier and pop band manager ran 11 homes in the Wrexham area known as the Bryn Alyn Community.
The case was the first prosecution following the Operation Pallial investigation into allegations of historical sexual abuse at children’s homes, launched by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in 2012.
It has identified 120 people as potential suspects with 12 people due to stand trial for various offences in 2015.
John Allen trial: Wrexham home boss guilty of 33 abuse charges
A former children’s homes boss has been found guilty of a further seven charges of sexually abusing youngsters in Wrexham taking the total to 33.
John Allen, 73, denied 40 counts of sex abuse against 19 boys and one girl in the late 1960s up to the early 1990s.
He was found guilty of seven sex charges at Mold Crown Court on Thursday and he was found guilty of 26 charges on Wednesday. The jury have been discharged after failing to reach verdicts on the outstanding charges.
North wales Children’s home - All of the convictions listed
Victims tell of horror inside North Wales care home where gang rape, strip searches and vicious canings were a way of life… and Jimmy Savile was a regular visitor
Paedophile scandal: Convicted North Wales care home boss is working in Premier Inn hotel
A DANGEROUS paedophile at the centre of the North Wales children’s home scandal is working as a night porter at a Premier Inn hotel.
Convicted pervert John Allen was accused of the sexual abuse of dozens of vulnerable children when he was head of a multi-million-pound care home company.
A Sunday Mirror investigation has discovered Allen, now 71, is working at the family-friendly hotel after moving to a different part of the country.
Allen, who was jailed for six years for child sex abuse in 1995, went into hiding after he was cleared of another 36 offences in 2003 when a judge ruled he would not receive a fair trial under European human-rights legislation.
The Waterhouse Inquiry into the children’s homes abuse over two decades exposed the full extent of Allen’s crimes, with 28 victims accusing him of sex attacks.
Free: Allen was cleared of new allegations in 2003
Crucially, wealthy Allen was in a position of power and it was reported he threatened to kill his victims if they spoke out.
His colleagues and neighbours have no idea about his past and how he played a pivotal part in the scandal which led to 700 complaints of abuse by 350 young victims.
A neighbour said: “I only know him as John. He’s lived here for about a year. I sometimes hear his door opening and closing at odd hours.
“He is friendly enough to say ‘hello’ to, but I don’t really know anything about him.”
Allen worked in the hotel industry before moving into the residential care business in North Wales in the mid-1960s. In 1969, he opened a children’s home at Bryn Alyn, near Wrexham.
His company expanded and at one stage Allen ran up to 50 homes in North Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire providing specialist care for troubled children.
It is estimated up to 500 children were put in his care during this time.
It became an extremely lucrative business because, even in the 1980s, councils paid around £15,000-a-year per child.
In the 13 years up to 1990, his empire had a turnover of more than £28million and, in the mid-1980s, the annual turnover was about £2.6million – which would be valued today at £6.8million.
Allen’s salary in 1988 was £204,894, equivalent to £470,000 now, and he had a yacht and properties in the Costwolds and France.
Allen retired in 1990 and his double life began to unravel when police carried out a three-year probe into a series of claims from boys.
Position of trust: Allen (centre) with boys in his care
In 1995, Allen was jailed for six years after being convicted of six offences of indecent assault between 1972 and 1983. He was cleared of four other charges.
More damning and wide- spread claims of sex abuse were made against him during the Waterhouse Inquiry and they were detailed in 2000’s Lost in Care report.
The report said 28 ex- residents had alleged they were sexually abused by Allen and they gave disturbing accounts oftheir ordeals, including serious sexual assaults.
Allen’s pattern of abuse included him giving vulnerable boys expensive gifts after assaulting them, to buy their silence and groom them for more abuse.
A report in 1996 suggested Allen had connections with senior establishment figures and was hiring out children as rent boys.
At the Waterhouse Inquiry, Allen denied being a paedophile and claimed a prominent politician was a child sex abuser.
Two brothers who had been victims of Allen died in mysterious circumstances. Adrian Johns had tried to blackmail Allen in 1992. Months later he was killed in an arson attack in Brighton. His brother Leander survived.
Leander and another brother Chris, who believes he escaped abuse because he was too old, gave evidence against Allen. Chris claimed he had under-age sex with a high court judge and was raped by another official.
Allen absconded and was missing for five days during which time Leander, 34, was found dead in his flat. The coroner concluded he died of a drug overdose.
Following the report, police launched another inquiry which resulted in 36 new charges. But Allen’s lawyers argued he would not face a fair trial so he walked free.
A Premier Inn spokesman said: “We were unaware of Mr Allen’s conviction as he neglected to disclose this on his job application. We have suspended him with immediate effect pending further enquiries.”